Tern GSD and HSD exceed new German cargo bike safety standards

Urban mobility specialist Tern has announced its GSD and HSD e-Cargo bikes are among the first to pass rigorous new German cargo bike testing standards.

Cargo bikes were previously left out of international safety standards such as the ISO 4210 standard for city, trekking, young adult, mountain and race bikes, or the EN 15194 standard for e-Bikes. However, a new German standard (DIN 79010:2020-02 Cycles – Transportation bikes and cargo bikes) took effect earlier this year, becoming the first to specify the testing methods and safety requirements for electric and non-electric cargo bikes.

This standard developed in Germany could serve as the basis for a future European EN standard, which is currently being discussed by a technical committee of the European Committee for Standardization. This is timely, as results of an EU-funded survey into the cargo bike industry’s sales suggest that sales across Europe are likely to increase by 50% this year.

Marcus Schröder is the Director of EFBE Prüftechnik and one of the principal authors behind the new German cargo bike standard. “We see a lot of cargo bikes out there that clearly wouldn’t pass more extensive testing, and that is quite worrying,” he said. “Having well-defined testing standards is not only important to ensure riders have the peace of mind they need when carrying their kids on the bike, but also to push manufacturers to follow what should be basic safety requirements. We’re glad to see companies like Tern using lab-testing to identify weaknesses in their designs.”

The EFBE Tri-Test for cargo bikes builds upon the German standard to add proprietary maximum and overload test stages to the test sequence defined in DIN 79010 in order to verify that the product endures singular peak loads at the edge of design use. It also ensures the bike remains safe when pushed beyond its limits and does not risk the safety of riders or passengers when overloaded.

The Tri-Test includes 10 different frame stress tests. A single frame must pass all 10 tests, with any damage caused by a test rolling over to the remaining tests, which are each performed with increased loads proportionate to the claimed weight of capacity and the geometry of the bike. The Tern GSD saw some tests on the frame and fork feature loads over 300% higher than specified in the European EN 14764 standard for city and trekking bikes.

The GSD and HSD have both passed the EFBE Tri-Test up to the claimed load limits of 200kg and 170kg respectively.

Tern Team Captain, Josh Hon, commented: “Bicycle design is changing quickly and when you add passengers and cargo and electric motors, the forces at play escalate quickly. It’s really important that safety and testing standards evolve to cover these new types of bicycles.

“In quite a few cases there hasn’t been a relevant testing standard for a component we’ve wanted to test and we’re really happy to have EFBE as a partner to help us design the testing standards to ensure safety for our customers.”

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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